FAIRVIEW — The threeday Catholic Women’s League convention attracted 122 women from across Alberta and the Northwest Territories.
The hosting group for the 63rd annual convention for the CWL’s Alberta Mackenzie Provincial Council was the diocese of Grouard-McLennan. This year’s theme, for the second year, was Women of Peace and Hope.
“Under the theme of Women of Peace and Hope, members continue with their support of the March for Life, and helping to defeat Bill C-368,” said Cathy Bouchard, secretary and communications chair for the CWL’s Alberta Mackenzie Provincial Council.
“Members wrote letters against the influx of trafficked women into the Olympics. Members continue to reach out to their brothers and sisters in Christ, as we feel called.”
The opening Mass was celebrated on Friday, May 28 at St. Thomas More Church, with Grouard-McLennan Archbishop Gerard Pettipas the celebrant. Money collected at Mass was donated to Fairview Crossroads Women’s Shelter.
Among the convention speakers were Kay Feehan, addressing the group on the subject of peace in the world, and Father Jim Corrigan, the spiritual advisor for the provincial council.
Corrigan spoke on the need for patience in the daily trials and tribulations of life. His message was that life offers many opportunities to live out the Gospel message of peace and hope.
“Kay (Feehan) led us through a discernment of ways that we can be part of the peacemaking process. Kay encouraged us to support a federal bill that would institute a ministry of peace in our federal government, Bill C-447,” Bouchard said in her report.
Denise Kantor, president of the CWL for the military ordinariate (MO), spoke on the challenges of living as a military wife and mother. As a tribute to the Canadian soldiers serving overseas, the women wore red.
“With 14 active councils and about 300 members, the MO strives to promote our Catholic Christian faith and values while also supporting our military families,” said Bouchard.
On Saturday, Mary Pat Skene, chief executive officer of the Grey Nuns, provided the assembly with a keynote address, Journey into Life. Skene shared her basic moral beliefs about why the choice of offering better palliative care and end of life support is the only choice for Christian believers.
“She compared the dying process to the process of giving birth. Some are easy, some are difficult, some are quick, and some are slow. We are well prepared for some and some arrive unexpectedly.
“She shared that both of these processes lead us to new life, and we need to die to make room for the new — God’s ultimate gift to us,” said Bouchard.
Next year’s convention will be in Fort Saskatchewan, hosted by the Edmonton archdiocesan CWL.